Iran summons UK ambassador over 'seizure' of super tanker Grace-1 Watch

Napp
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I believe the technical term here is theft... Although considering they landed a detachment of Marines on the thing the Iranian epithet of piracy wouldn't be far off.
Why we continue to do the bidding of a crack pot like Bolton is utterly beyond me.


Iran has summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to complain about what it says was the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker.

British Royal Marines helped the authorities in Gibraltar seize the ship because of evidence it was heading to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

Spain's acting foreign minister said the seizure of the ship - Grace 1 - was at the US's request.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman called the actions a "form of piracy".

The UK Foreign Office dismissed that as "nonsense".

Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies detained the super tanker and its cargo on Thursday morning with the help of the marines.

The BBC has been told a team of about 30 marines, from 42 Commando, were flown from the UK to Gibraltar to help, at the request of the Gibraltar government.

The first marines to board the Panama-flagged ship descended by rope from a helicopter, as others approached in speed boats. No shots were fired.

A defence source described it as a "relatively benign operation" without major incident.

However, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was later quoted as saying the UK's ambassador in Tehran, Robert Macaire, had been summoned over the "illegal seizure" of the tanker.

In a brief interview for Iranian TV's Channel Two, Mr Mousavi said the seizure was "a form of piracy" and did not have any legal and international basis. He called for the tanker to be immediately released to continue its journey.

He added that "the move indicated that the UK follows the hostile policies of the US, which is unacceptable for the Iranian nation and government".

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said while Britain has been keen to suggest it was an operation led by the Gibraltar government, it appears the intelligence came from the US.

Spain's Acting Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Spain was studying the circumstances of the action but said it followed "a demand from the US to the UK". Spain disputes British ownership of Gibraltar.

White House national security advisor John Bolton said the seizure was "excellent news", saying the tanker laden with oil bound for Syria was violating EU sanctions. He added that the US and its allies would continue to prevent regimes in Tehran and Damascus from "profiting off this illicit trade".

[img]file:///C:/Users/cl_st/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]

Analysis: Britain would not have acted to enforce US measures

By James Robbins, BBC diplomatic correspondent

It's clear that this seizure was to enforce EU sanctions against Syria, not US sanctions against Iran.

But it looks as if both the US and the UK had been tracking the movements of Grace 1 throughout its curious voyage from the Gulf to the Mediterranean.

Curious because such a valuable cargo of oil would normally be taken via the Suez Canal, even if that means using more than one vessel and transhipping the oil because not all super-tankers can squeeze through. It's a massive shortcut.

Instead, in this instance the master took his vessel and controversial cargo the very long route around the southern tip of Africa - the Cape. Was that a smokescreen to conceal its apparent destination - the Mediterranean coast of Syria?

The Americans were acutely interested because they are determined to prevent Iran profiting from oil sales which breach US sanctions.

Britain, by contrast, would not have acted to enforce US measures.

But when the super-tanker, all 330 metres of it, entered EU waters, specifically Gibraltar waters, the British authorities judged they had no choice but to enforce EU sanctions against Syria which the UK pushed for and strongly supports.

Brussels was not involved in the seizure decision. It is not a matter for EU institutions to enforce customs law. That is a responsibility of member states.

However, the Iranian charge that Britain was doing the Americans bidding may be hard to shake off.

That matters because it fuels an Iranian conviction that Europe only pays lip service to its continuing commitment to the hard-won nuclear deal - the deal which Donald Trump repudiated and does not want to survive.

[img]file:///C:/Users/cl_st/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the swift action by the authorities in Gibraltar and the Royal Marines would deny valuable resources to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's "murderous regime".

Gibraltar said there was reason to believe the ship was carrying Iranian crude oil to the Baniyas Refinery in the Syrian Mediterranean port town of Tartous.

The refinery is a subsidiary of the General Corporation for Refining and Distribution of Petroleum Products, a section of the Syrian ministry of petroleum.

The EU says the facility therefore provides financial support to the Syrian government, which is subject to sanctions because of its repression of civilians since the start of the uprising against President Assad in 2011.

The refinery has been subject to EU sanctions since 2014.

US-Iran tension

This latest row comes at a time of escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

The Trump administration - which has pulled out of an international agreement on Tehran's nuclear programme - has reinforced punishing sanctions against Iran. Its European allies, including the UK, have not followed suit.

Also last month, the US accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers with mines just outside the Strait of Hormuz - an accusation denied by Iran.

Days later, an unmanned US drone was shot down by Iranian forces in the Gulf.

Iran said it had violated Iranian airspace and would send a "clear message to America". The US insisted the drone had been over international waters. President Donald Trump tweeted: "Iran made a very big mistake!"

There have been growing tensions between the UK and Iran too, after Britain said the Iranian regime was "almost certainly" responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in June.

The UK has also been pressing Iran to release British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was jailed for five years in 2016 after being convicted for spying, which she denies.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48871462
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999tigger
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Was it in EU waters?
Was it breaking EU sanctions?

One step closer to testing those missiles.
Maybe they will wave Zaghari Ratcliffe at the UK again.
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Napp
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Was it in EU waters?
Was it breaking EU sanctions?
Not come a couple of months.
One step closer to testing those missiles.
Maybe they will wave Zaghari Ratcliffe at the UK again.
What missiles?
You make her sound like a flag.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Napp)
Not come a couple of months.

What missiles?
You make her sound like a flag.
The ones in iran.

So it wasnt in EU waters or they have no evidence or belief it was breaking sanctions?

I think relations are pretty poor with Iran anyway.

Wait to see what form Iranian retaliation will come in.

Iranians have been ignoring UK government for years, so am not sure the UK will be all ears at this time.
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Napp
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(Original post by 999tigger)
The ones in iran.
Yes which ones, there's rather a lot there... I'm not entirely sure why you're talking about missiles at all though?
So it wasnt in EU waters or they have no evidence or belief it was breaking sanctions?
I'm more saying the intel is suspect due to its extremely dubious providence. Then again Iranian ship, Iranian oil they have every right to sell it to Syria... Just as we have every right to sell arms to terrorists apparently.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Napp)
Yes which ones, there's rather a lot there... I'm not entirely sure why you're talking about missiles at all though?

I'm more saying the intel is suspect due to its extremely dubious providence. Then again Iranian ship, Iranian oil they have every right to sell it to Syria... Just as we have every right to sell arms to terrorists apparently.
Why is it? It was either in EU waters or it wasnt. Not really much pretending about hiding a supertanker.
Iran cant have it both ways.
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Napp
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Why is it? It was either in EU waters or it wasnt. Not really much pretending about hiding a supertanker.
Iran cant have it both ways.
What're you talking about, sorry? You seem to be asking random questions bereft of context?
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999tigger
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(Original post by Napp)
What're you talking about, sorry? You seem to be asking random questions bereft of context?
It is a question of fact if it was in EU waters or not. The UK was tracking it already.
Just as Iran could shoot the drone down for allegedly being in its air space, then a ship in EU territorial waters can have EU sanctions enforced against it.
Anyway not that interested and will see what happens.
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Tempest II
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It reads as though the seizure is due to EU sanctions on Syria rather than US sanctions on Iran. A rather important distinction to make.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ed-delivering/
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Napp
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(Original post by Tempest II)
It reads as though the seizure is due to EU sanctions on Syria rather than US sanctions on Iran. A rather important distinction to make.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ed-delivering/
Indeed, but from the articles it was at the err encouragement of Bolton and his cronies. Either way, sending a detachment of Marines is serious overkill...
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Palmyra
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Usual posters here with their usual talking points.


UK trying to show they can be the US' best and most loyal puppet. Shades of Iraq...
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Palmyra
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(Original post by Tempest II)
It reads as though the seizure is due to EU sanctions on Syria rather than US sanctions on Iran. A rather important distinction to make.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ed-delivering/
Already known that the UK acted upon a US request and that John Bolton celebrated it as "excellent news" and linked it directly to his decades-long quest for an illegal war with Iran.
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3121
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I think Iran is clearly being bullied here. They (USA, UK, possibly EU) are raising tensions so they can justify an attack and play good guy in my opinion. Except I don’t think it’ll work, there’s no media bias like there was at the times of the Iraq and Libya wars, independent news is the mainstream, media moguls like Murdoch no longer drive what people see/believe
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Napp
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(Original post by 3121)
I think Iran is clearly being bullied here. They (USA, UK, possibly EU) are raising tensions so they can justify an attack and play good guy in my opinion. Except I don’t think it’ll work, there’s no media bias like there was at the times of the Iraq and Libya wars, independent news is the mainstream, media moguls like Murdoch no longer drive what people see/believe
I'm inclined to agree, bar the inclusion of the EU whom (broadly speaking) are utterly against any form of conflict with Tehran, the British are a bit more suspect but meh. Ironically enough though one of the chief sanction busters for Iran was the British last time :lol:
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AperfectBalance
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So the tanker was potentially breaching the treaty, nothing wrong here. Harsher punishments must come to Iran and Syria.
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Napp
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(Original post by AperfectBalance)
So the tanker was potentially breaching the treaty, nothing wrong here. Harsher punishments must come to Iran and Syria.
What treaty?

Harsher punishments for what exactly? They haven't actually done anything yet.
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3121
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(Original post by Napp)
I'm inclined to agree, bar the inclusion of the EU whom (broadly speaking) are utterly against any form of conflict with Tehran, the British are a bit more suspect but meh. Ironically enough though one of the chief sanction busters for Iran was the British last time :lol:
In all honesty why should Britain respect Iran? They’ve held Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe for way too long. And the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arab is a conflict of interest for Britain given our close economic ties with Saudi Arabia. Iran didn’t do itself any favours when the deal was in place, they could’ve built strong relations with the UK and EU, even the USA before trump came in. Investments in them and offering opportunities of investments in Iran.

In some ways they’ve done Iran a favour, unrest with the government was growing where as now they’re unified behind the government, initially I thought the US would’ve taken advantage of it and had them do the dirty work in the name of democracy, but I think the Syria blueprint had some minor issues
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Napp
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(Original post by 3121)
In all honesty why should Britain respect Iran? They’ve held Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe for way too long. And the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arab is a conflict of interest for Britain given our close economic ties with Saudi Arabia. Iran didn’t do itself any favours when the deal was in place, they could’ve built strong relations with the UK and EU, even the USA before trump came in. Investments in them and offering opportunities of investments in Iran.
You make it sound like Britain hasnt spent the last century or so winding up the Iranians. Staging coups, pillaging their resources etc. etc. etc.
Ironic, if Britain had played its card right to start with Iran could well have been a more lucrative ally than that cess pit in the desert.
I'm not sure what youre on about not doing itself any favours during the deal (I assume you mean JCPOA?) In which case it kept to the letter of the agreement quite happily and was indeed building extensive business ties with Europe before Trump pissed on it and i say without a hint of overstatement here but the collapse in economic relations is ENTIRELY his fault.
In some ways they’ve done Iran a favour, unrest with the government was growing where as now they’re unified behind the government, initially I thought the US would’ve taken advantage of it and had them do the dirty work in the name of democracy, but I think the Syria blueprint had some minor issues
Not especially, people might have been getting pissy over the economic situation but the government has always remained rather popular with its base and its base is the majority of the population. the problem is whenever western media go about asking Iranians if they dislike the government they go and ask the educated middle classes in the cities (hardly representative of the population). As for the US fomenting a revolution/"pro-democracy"? Good luck to them. The US backs a terrorists group the Iranians universally despise.
Ironically enough though Iran does have a democracy, a rather weird and illiberal one granted but nevertheless its something Iranians take great pride in being able to vote.
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Harpoon
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The Royal Marines boarded an oil tanker at the request of the Government of Gibraltar based on intelligence that the tanker was breaking EU sanctions.

As reported by the BBC:

"The EU says the facility therefore provides financial support to the Syrian government, which is subject to sanctions because of its repression of civilians since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011."
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Andrew97
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It was to do with EU sanctions, not US ones...
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